The apartment complex off U.S. Route 1 in Edgecomb where first responders were called Christmas Day and found Makinzlee Handrahan unresponsive. Staff photo by Rachel Ohm.

Two protection from abuse complaints have been filed just days after a 3-year-old Edgecomb girl was killed Christmas morning, each providing new details about possible abuse in the toddler’s home.

Makinzlee Handrahan’s death has been ruled a homicide. Police have yet to announce any arrests in the case.

The toddler’s mother filed paperwork Tuesday in Wiscasset District Court seeking a protection from abuse order against a man she described as “verbally, mentally, and physically abusive.”

The complaint listed the man as a “former or present” romantic partner who she said would “hold me down to not let me up after screaming at me and trying to bite me,” and who has “pushed me to feel as I had to not have friends.” It does not mention Makinzlee’s death.

“He would yell how the kids were annoying and complain they were watching TV downstairs in the living room,” the complaint reads. “(He) would yell and scream at me about money and how he didn’t want me to work so I could be around to drive him.”

The Press Herald is not naming any of those involved in the protection orders because they have not been charged with crimes.


Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett said in an email Friday that his agency is not investigating the allegations of abuse described in the order and referred questions to the Maine State Police.

The investigation into Makinzlee’s death is ongoing, said Shannon Moss, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety, in an email Friday.

“We will provide updates when releasing certain information won’t compromise the case,” Moss said, adding that the timeline for releasing information varies by case depending on the circumstances.

Moss said she could not comment on whether state police are investigating the mother’s complaint or any related allegations against the man because of the ongoing investigation.

The mother did not respond to voicemail messages asking about Makinzlee’s death and the protection complaint and no one answered the door when a reporter stopped by her apartment Friday. Attempts to reach the man named in the complaint, as well as Makinzlee’s father, were unsuccessful.

The Lincoln County Communications Center received a 911 call at about 7:37 a.m. Christmas morning about a child who was unresponsive and not breathing.


Makinzlee was taken to Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, where she was pronounced dead. The investigation was taken over by the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit, which is standard in all child deaths in Maine.

On Monday, one day after Makinzlee’s death, the mother said in court records that her sister received a notification on her phone that a tracking device was following them. The mother said they couldn’t physically find the device but were able to track it, via the phone, to a car that belonged to a friend whom the mother had been staying with for a few days.

“Scared he’s stalking me and he still has a key to my apartment,” the complaint says. “I am scared for my life and my children.”

The order, which was approved by a judge on a temporary basis the same day, seeks protection for the mother and her two sons, ages 7 and 9.

A second complaint filed Thursday by the father of the two boys – Makinzlee’s half-brothers – seeking protection from the mother on their behalf, was also granted on a temporary basis.

It states that due to Makinzlee’s death, “we are very concerned for their safety, health, and welfare under her direct care.”


A phone message left for the boys’ father asking about the complaint and the circumstances of Makinzlee’s death was not returned Friday.

At Makinzlee’s mother’s apartment, a neighbor who spoke with the Press Herald on Tuesday said investigators wanted to know whether anyone heard screaming or banging coming from the apartment where the toddler and her family lived.

One neighbor, who did not give their name out of respect for the family, said the child’s mother was crying when she returned to the apartment complex Monday evening with two other women. The neighbor said the mother had two other children and another man was often seen at the home, presumably a boyfriend.

It is unclear to what extent Makinzlee and her family may have interacted with state child protective services.

The protection from abuse order filed by the father of Makinzlee’s half-brothers says the request was made in part because Department of Health and Human Services caseworkers indicated that the boys “will be in jeopardy” if returned to their mother.

A spokesperson for DHHS declined to comment on whether Makinzlee and her family had any prior interactions with the state.


“Due to state and federal statutory prohibitions, and to avoid compromising law enforcement’s investigation, the department is unable to comment on this matter,” Jackie Farwell, an agency spokeswoman, said in an email.

Maine’s child protective services program has been under scrutiny in recent years because of high-profile cases of abuse and neglect that have left several young children dead in Maine. Four children under the age of 4 died in June and August of 2021.

Maine reported that more children died in 2021 from abuse, neglect, or in households that had prior involvement with the child protective system than in any year on record.

In all, 29 children died in Maine last year and at least 27 had had some sort of child protective history, according to state data, which is not a comprehensive list of all child deaths and doesn’t include five child deaths in which criminal cases have been filed.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.